This could be described as a "faction" book. That is, it's fiction, but with lots of separately highlighted facts.


The facts are about deafness: what causes it, how it affects those who are deaf - like the main character in the story - and related topics such as sign language. As I'm deaf myself, you could this is a subject close to my heart - if you get my meaning!




“Are you ready to go swimming?” said Alan.


His brother, Jeff, was looking the other way. He didn’t answer.


Alan tapped him hard on the shoulder. Jeff turned round.


“I said, are you ready?” repeated Alan.


Jeff frowned. “What?” he said.


Alan lost his temper. “Are – you – ready?” he shouted in Jeff’s face. “Are – you – ready, Mutton?”


Now it was Jeff’s turn to get angry. “Don’t call me that!”


Alan just laughed. “Don’t call you what? Mutton Jeff? Why not, Mutton Jeff!”


Jeff felt tears come to his eyes. He didn’t want to cry, but he couldn’t help it. The name his brother called him was so cruel. They lived in London, and in that part of the world “Mutton Jeff” was rhyming slang for “deaf”.


“Shut up!” shouted Jeff.


“Why should I?”


“Because you’re lucky. You’ve got ears that work!”




You’ve got two ears, one on each side.


That’s really important. If you only had one ear, you’d think every sound was coming from the side that ear was on!


Ears are like icebergs: most of them you can’t see! They have three parts: the outer ear, the middle ear and the inner ear.



Do you think your ears look funny? Don’t! Their shape is important! Ears are round, like funnels, because their job is to funnel sound into your ear-hole.


Your ear-hole leads into a short tunnel, called the auditory canal. (Say it: aw-dit-ory canal).


This tunnel leads to your ear-drum. (Real name, tympanic membrane, (Say it: tim-pan-ick mem-brain). Sounds bounce against your ear-drum, and make it move.

bupa ear

An audio CD version of Danger Signs is also available